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News Roundup: 17 August - 23 August 2015 By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR Weekly | Aug 24, 2015

Want to keep up to date on the SSR field? Once a week, the CSG’s Security Sector Reform Resource Centre project posts pertinent news articles, reports, projects, and event updates on SSR over the past week. Click here to sign-up and have the SSR Weekly News Roundup delivered straight to your inbox every week!

Security Sector Reform Resource Centre

Four Weaknesses of South Sudan’s Military Integration Process

In this blog post, Lesley Anne Warner analyzes what factors previously compromised the implementation of military integration in South Sudan prior to 2013, before arguing that “a poorly managed, open-ended integration process and the failure of rightsizing initiatives” has had a detrimental impact on the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). After arguing that four weaknesses of South Sudan’s military integration program, including the continued political use of the military around elections and the failure of DDR initiatives, have led to the SPLA’s fragmentation; Warner highlights how South Sudan could learn from Burundi’s experience of military reform.

Does research influence security sector reform policy? Evidence from a Sierra Leone case-study

In this, the eighth contribution to our Academic Spotlight Series, Andrea Edoardo Varisco provides a summary of research published in the journal, Conflict, Security & Development. The piece focuses on the influence of research on British-led security sector reform (SSR) in Sierra Leone. The piece highlights three issues characterizing the use of research in policy, including the issue of time—where practitioners enacting SSR policies are simply unable to process new research regardless of its merits.



ISIL kills scores of Iraqi soldiers in Anbar ambushes

ISIL has killed up to 50 soldiers and allied Shia fighters in two separate ambushes in Iraq’s Anbar province. – Al Jazeera.

Nigeria: U.S. Exporting Arms to Nigeria Despite ‘Ban’

‘Despite a much touted “ban” allegedly preventing the United States from exporting arms to the Nigerian forces, Pentagon records show the US Army is sending military equipment, including armored vehicles and ambulances, to Nigeria’. – All Africa.

Suicide attacks against Iraqi security outpost kill 8

‘Police and military officials say a series of suicide car bombings by the Islamic State group targeting a military outpost in Anbar province have killed eight soldiers and injured six.’- Qassim Abdul-Zahra, AP.

Ex-deputy sheriff among dead in Kabul suicide car bombing

‘A former deputy sheriff from Georgia was among the victims of a suicide car bombing in Afghanistan. He was in Afghanistan training local police forces.’ – AP, The Guardian.

Confirmed: Pakistan Is Buying New Attack Helicopters From Russia

‘An agreement has been signed between Pakistan and Russian authorities for the purchase of four Mi-35 helicopters’. – Franz-Stefan Gady, The Diplomat.

US Set to Suspend Military Aid to Pakistan

‘The U.S. government is set to withhold certification of Pakistan’s counter-terrorism operations against the Haqqani network. The move will block financial and intelligence support.’ – Ankit Panda, The Diplomat.

Israeli army carries out strikes in Syria

‘Israeli forces launched artillery and aerial attacks on Syria apparently in response to four rockets being fired from Syrian territory into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights’. – Middle East Monitor.

Maliki threatens to expose officials responsible for murder

‘Former Iraqi Vice President Nouri Al-Maliki has threatened to expose files he has on political officials that he says proves their involvement in the murder and kidnapping of ordinary Iraqis’. – Middle East Monitor.

Iraq Could Face ‘Partition’ without Reform, Says Top Shiite Cleric

‘Iraq’s top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, warned on Thursday that the country faces dire consequences including possible “partition” if real reform is not carried out.’ – Naharnet.

Military pressure on Ukraine will last decades, president says

‘Military pressure on Ukraine from Russia and the separatists that Moscow supports is likely to last decades and future generations will have to undergo military training, President Petro Poroshenko said on Saturday.’ – Natalia Zinets, Reuters.

South Sudan reporter killed days after ‘president’s threat’

‘Assailants have reportedly shot dead a reporter for the New Nation newspaper in South Sudan in an apparently targeted attack, days after President Salva Kiir allegedly made a thinly veiled threat to target journalists who reported “against the country”.’ – Al Jazeera.

South Sudan leader Salva Kiir snubs peace deal

‘South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has failed to sign a peace deal in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, aimed at ending the civil war in his country.’ – BBC.



Interview: Analyzing Thailand’s Erawan Shrine Bomb Blast

In this interview, Dr. Zachary Abuza analyzes the recent bombing of a shrine in Thailand and how the blast may impact on Thailand’s security situation and reforms. - Prashanth Parameswaran, Dr. Zachary Abuza, The Diplomat.

Gangsta’s Paradise: How Brazil’s Criminals (and Police) Use Social Media

This blog post analyzes the use of social media by security forces and criminals in Brazil. It also highlights the role this virtual conflict plays in fueling real world violence. – Robert Muggah, Security Development Foundation.

Rise of Illegal Armed Groups Adds to Paraguay’s Security Troubles

This article analyzes the rise in armed actors in Paraguay and their impact on the country’s security situation. It argues that the groups pose a ‘significant’ risk to long term stability and that they are emerging at a time when public trust in the government is already low following corruption scandals. – David Gagne, Insight Crime.

Early warning in the Horn of Africa

This post argues that ‘experience from the Conflict Early Warning and Response Network in the Horn of Africa can provide important lessons for the region and beyond, say Sebastien Babaud and Bonita Ayuko, including the importance of civil society engagement, multi-stakeholder cooperation, and multi-level implementation.’ – Sebastian Babaud, SaferWorld.

Shedding light on the grey zone: A new approach to human-centric warfare

This article looks at so-called ‘grey zones’ in the field of international security and how they will impact upon the method of security provision utilized by states. While noting developments in Ukraine, Palestine/Israel and Iraq, the authors argue that although these conflicts highlight a shift in methods of war, a state’s ability to build, maintain and employ a global land power network to compete in the gray zone is pivotal to our future success. - Lt. Gen. Charles T. Cleveland, U.S. Army retired, Lt. Col. Shaw S. Pick and Lt. Col. Stuart L. Farris, Army Magazine.

Institutional Reintegration & the Security Sector for FARC in Colombia

This excellent article analyzes the ongoing peace talks between the Colombian government and FARC rebels, and highlights how DDR policies could be implemented in Colombia. It finds, through an examination of four options, that ‘best practices and lessons learned show a combination of reintegration approaches is optimal as a positive contributor to longer-term peace and development.’ - Dean M. Piedmont, Peacebuilding, Reintegration & Stabilization Group.

Assad is more than happy to play a waiting game

This article argues that ‘the Assad regime and its foreign backers recognize such fault lines among the pro-opposition team. The only way they want to improve their bargaining position is to bide their time. Eventually, they hope, the rebels will be too divided and exhausted and their backers will turn to the regime to help them in their fight against extremist groups.’ – Hassan Hassan, The National.

Reexamining ballots and bullets

In this blog post, the relationship between violence and electoral politics is examined and exposed as being far more diverse than commonly appreciated. The blog also argues that ‘most of what we conventionally associate with electoral violence can be described as “intra-systemic,” in which coercion, displacement, killing and intimidation are deployed to win elections’. – Paul Staniland, The Monkey Cage.

My Land, Not Your Land: Farmer-Herder Wars in the Sahel

Michael W. Baca analyzes the often overlooked problem plaguing regions of Africa’s, Farmer-Herder violence. While noting that the violence receives drastically less media attention than terrorist groups, Baca highlights that it has claimed 620 lives thus far in 2015, including 80 in one incident in March. Baca goes on to examine the causes of the violence, including the general breakdown in traditional conflict resolution mechanisms, and a rise in rural insecurity, and ways in which the violence can be tackled. - Michael W. Baca, Foreign Affairs.

A new episode in the Turkish civil war?

This insightful piece examines the collapse of peace talks in Turkey and argues that they two sides to the conflict have gone ‘back to old ways of doing business in southeast Turkey. Neither side, however, has any hope of defeating the other, instead repeating in vain the policies permitted by their institutional memory.’ - Aysegul Aydin and Cem Emrence, The Monkey Cage.

Convert or die: Ethnic cleansing in CAR

This interesting piece discusses the progression of ethnic cleansing in the Central African Republic. It is noted that Christian and animist militias are now brandishing religious fervor with violence to terrorize the country’s Muslim minority. - Khaled A Beydoun, Al Jazeera.

An Opening for Diplomacy in Syria

This opinion piece argues that there now exists a space for diplomacy in Syria. In particular, the increasing role of Russia in coalition building against ISIS is highlighted as a positive development. – Editorial Board, The New York Times.

Is Peace Possible in Afghanistan?

Following a string of peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government, this piece outlines the progress these meetings have had, and also how the death of Taliban leader Mullah Omar will impact the peace process. – Carter Malkasian, Foreign Affairs.

Nepal’s Disgruntled Federalism

Bhoj Raj Poudel writes of the impact a proposal to divide Nepal into six provinces, to pave the way for a federal system of governance. Poudel discusses the increased tensions this plan is causing and the impact of the plan of Nepal’s security and political situation. - Bhoj Raj Poudel, The Diplomat.

Taliban-Aligned Uzbek Militant In Syria Speaks Out Against IS

This extremely interesting article documents interactions with a fighter aligned to the Taliban in Syria. It outlines his criticisms of ISIL, while also providing a much needed insight into the thinking of fighters involved in one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters. – Joanna Paraszczuk, Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty.

The Questionable Legality of Military Aid to Egypt

This editorial examines the legality of US military aid to Egypt given previous reports highlighting the human rights abuses of Egyptian security forces. – Editorial Board, The New York Times.

The Siren Call of Militarization in Latin America

This excellent article examines what keeps pushing Latin American governments to adopt “iron fist” security policies. It also examines how the close cooperation between military and police forces has increased abuses by security services. - David Gagne, InSight Crime.



Iraqi Stability and the “ISIS War”

In this report, the impact and broader implications of the rise of ISIS are examined. The report also highlights that ISIS is only one of myriad threats Iraq faces and that it is not a threat that military force alone can mitigate. The report also highlights the need for civil-military solutions while examining some of the reforms that should be taken and the challenges to those reforms. – Anthony H. Cordesman, Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

The Power of Staying Put Nonviolent Resistance Against Armed Groups in Colombia

This monograph examines the puzzle of why unarmed civilians defy armed actors through a detailed case study of one instance of sustained and organized civil resistance led by ordinary peasants against state and non-state repressive actors in Colombia’s longstanding civil war: the case of the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó. – Juan Masullo J., International Centre on Nonviolent Conclict.

The Rule of Law: The Institutional Framework: International Criminal Courts and Tribunals

This report focuses on the institutional architecture that the Security Council has established and utilized to advance the rule of law as part of its primary responsibility to maintain international peace and security. Although finding that the council has been resourceful and contributed to international peace and security over the last 20 years, the report finds that the Council has been inconsistent in following up on its significant steps towards peace. – Security Council Report.

Counterinsurgency and Female Engagement Teams in the War in Afghanistan

This insightful paper examines the role and impact of female engagement teams in Afghanistan. Following this debate, the paper suggests that the success of these teams may fundamentally change the overall structure of the military and women’s role in conflict. – Gabrielle Cook, E-International Relations.

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